Madurai in India gets its first all-women petrol bunk

Moving a step further towards achieving complete women empowerment, a petrol bunk in Madurai, a major city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is exclusively run by women.

A team of 16 women are working in three shifts to keep the bunk functioning round the clock. Inaugurated by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited State Head (Retail), Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Venkatraman P. Iyer. According to sources close to Bharat, the bunk has already started getting good reviews for customer service.

Checking tube air pressure, regulating vehicles and changing oil for them using a modern machine, these women are adept in their work after a rigorous month-long training. One among the women workers, S. Saraswathi, said having worked for many years in bunks along with men, “doing everything here on our own has boosted my self-confidence”.

One of the three supervisors, A. Kaleeswari, said though it felt like a huge task, “we like to face it as a challenge and be skilled in every aspect of running a petrol bunk on our own. It also breaks the notion that this is a man’s job”. A few customers who noticed that it was an all-women fuel outlet even gave words of encouragement, she added.

Feeling safe with plenty of support

Speaking of night shifts, the workers said with regular police patrol they felt safe. The support of their families was also notable, they added.

The bunk is also operated by a woman, K. Nithya. who said “The bunk is a Company-Owned Company-Operated outlet and the initiative to keep it ‘all women’ sprang from the desire to make it a role model in society. It is also a step towards empowering women by enhancing their livelihood,”